The Bots That Fight Trump

The Lefty League
May 8, 2019 · 4 min read

First, I want to say that we are stunned by Speaker Pelosi’s recent statements about Trump’s unwillingness to leave office and continued refusal to move impeachment proceedings forward in the House. It is clear that Trump is in incredible legal jeopardy and is using his powers as President to both cover up his crimes and avoid consequences. Pelosi believes that in a close 2020 election, Trump will do his best to hold onto office. This is all the more reason to push impeachment now and make it an issue against every Republican Senator up for election. Today, the Democratic leadership is caving to Trump and the reactionaries in his party.

We believe that the best defense against Trump is a strong offense. It is time to take the fight to Trump with impeachment proceedings in the House, and in every district with the popular policies that will expand the electorate and ensure Democratic victories.

We started The Lefty League to use the best marketing and technology tactics in the fight to maintain and expand a peaceful, pluralistic society. Today, we are at great risk of losing liberalism around the world. It’s not easy to be on the front lines of this fight but it is essential that liberal voices and progressive vision aren’t drown out by the rise of reactionary content on the internet. That’s why I’m using my two decades of experience as a journalist and technologist executive to build The Lefty League into a grassroots force that can effectively take on Trump and the GOP online. I am so grateful to the many of you who have already shown your support.

Here in May, we’ve begun testing a new tactic for fighting back online: bots against Trump.

Earlier this week, I was speaking with Emily Stewart from Vox about the Bernie grassroots and how the GOP gained an edge in digital media. She asked me why Trump is winning online, and whether he can be beat. I responded that Trump has taken the lead in digital for two reasons: one, he spends far more money on digital than previous candidates or competitors, although there are signs that Biden’s emergent campaign may be willing to go dollar-for-dollar; second, his favorite outlet for paid media is Facebook, which rewards reactionary content with lower cost per impression (unlike other forms of paid media, Facebook rewards viral ad content) — because conservative-minded people, regardless of political party, favor reactionary content with comments and shares, Facebook and Trump are a match made in hell.

You see, there is nothing special or unique about how Trump and the GOP advertise. Nor is there anything particularly innovative in how Russian operatives used social media to influence U.S. politics by inflaming existing political tensions. Internet publishers on the left and the right have been doing this for more than a decade, and traditional marketers have long known and shared openly how to create viral ads on Facebook. There are endless blog posts and trainings to this end. That’s why we were shocked to see some Democratic strategists in 2017 and 2018 confess to emulating Russian disinformation tactics in their campaigns. Now only was this unethical, it was behind the times!

There is no need for disinformation — there is a need to aggressively and openly inform!

The Lefty League is committed to bringing the next generation of online marketing tactics into the political arena and perfecting their use to defeat Trump and the GOP. Automation is a tool that marketers are increasingly using to scale advertising campaigns and make them more personal — an initial reaction to an ad stems off into a personalized conversation. Today, we’re testing our “bots against Trump” with an action calling on the House to begin impeachment proceedings.

We are seeing an incredible response from liberals across the country to our impeachment ads — what we call “top of the funnel” marketing. And whenever a Facebook user comments “Yes” to our question, our automated bot begins a conversation in Messenger, following up with a petition directed at House leadership. You can try it out yourself by clicking through to this post and commenting “yes.”

This low-cost automation has huge potential for the 2020 cycle — for example, we can use Facebook ads in key Senate districts to kick off personalized conversations with voters about their top issues and steer them to the most important information they need to vote Democratic.

We are very excited about this work, and grateful for your support that will allow us to take the learnings from these tests into battleground districts throughout the country.

— Adriel

Organizer Sandbox

thoughts on digital engagement and social action

The Lefty League

Written by

The Really Online Lefty League is a grassroots PAC working for the 99%. FEC #C00682203. Visit

Organizer Sandbox

thoughts on digital engagement and social action

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